This guide dives deep into the vegan blog niche. It will give you the insights you need for starting and growing a successful vegan blog.
We will perform a competitive analysis of the vegan niche, look at types of content vegan blogs publish, how successful vegan websites drive traffic, how monetization works in the vegan niche, and which technical setup (such as themes and plugins) vegan bloggers use.
Vegan Niche Overview and Competitive Analysis
When analyzing the competitive landscape of any blog niche, I always check the following questions:
- Is there a steady or growing interest in the topic?
- Is the interest coming from profitable regions, such as the United States? Traffic coming from the United States is much easier to monetize than traffic from countries with a lower purchasing power per citizen.
- Are there big blogs in the niche? If there are big blogs, it means that the niche has traffic and profit potential.
- Can I find smaller blogs that rank for relevant search phrases? If there are, that means small blogs can rank on Google, and you won’t hit a wall of massive authority sites that you can’t break through.
The vegan blog niche checks positive on the first three questions, but at least in the vegan food niche, I had trouble finding smaller blogs that do well on Google. I did find a few small blogs that rank at least for some relatively nice keywords, but they are all run by professional, experienced bloggers. In the vegan cosmetics and skincare niche, small blogs are more prominent.
I know I should tell you the vegan blog niche is great and proceed to sell you my online course on “How To Effortlessly Get Rich With a Vegan Blog in Three Days”, but the truth is, competition in the vegan food niche is fierce and ranking on Google with a new blog will, while not impossible, be difficult. In the vegan (cruelty-free) cosmetics and skincare niche, rankings should be more accessible.
Steadily Growing Interest in the Vegan Niche
Google Trends shows us that interest around the search term “vegan” has been growing over the past five years. There have been some ups and downs, but the general trend is stable enough for my taste.
Interest Is Coming From Profitable Regions
The biggest interest regions are Australia, the UK, the US, and Canada. Blog traffic from these countries is highly profitable.
Blogs That Rank in the Vegan Blog Niche
Below, you will find a selection of vegan blogs that successfully rank for a significant number of keywords on Google.
Among them are both massive and rather small vegan blogs.
Beginner’s Guide to the Below Data:Ahrefs Domain Rating:
Ahrefs’ Domain Rating shows the link popularity of a website compared to all other sites in the world on a scale from 0 to 100. (source and more details: Ahrefs’ DR score explanation). While Ahrefs’ algorithm for calculating domain rating is not the same as Google’s algorithm for ranking web pages, domains with a high Ahrefs Domain Rating tend to have it easier to rank on Google.
The number of backlinks describes the number of times that other websites link to a blog. Multiple backlinks from within the same domain are all counted.
The number of linking websites describes the number of unique domains linking to a blog. Multiple backlinks from within the same domain are only counted as one linking website.
Number of pages indexed with Google:
This is not the number of blog posts: Google will index other pages as well, such as category pages, landing pages, about page, author pages etc. Depending on how the website is structured, the number of blog posts may be significantly lower. However, the number of pages Google has indexed can give you at least a ballpark number of how much content a blog has published.
Selection of Vegan Blogs: (Data as of August 20, 2020)
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||64|
|Pages indexed with Google||1,130|
Loving It Vegan is a vegan recipe blog with, according to their about page, millions of unique visitors per month.
It’s monetized with ads (Mediavine ad network), Amazon affiliate links, and a recipe ebook.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||64|
|Pages indexed with Google||1,180|
Another vegan recipe blog. It focuses on whole-foods plant recipes that can be made with everyday ingredients.
The Simple Veganista monetizes with ads (Adthrive ad network) and Amazon affiliate links, primarily for kitchen gear.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||56|
|Pages indexed with Google||915|
One more vegan recipe blog. This one aims at providing vegan recipes that even meat-eaters and picky kids love to eat.
Nora monetizes with ads (Adthrive ad network) and a recipe ebook.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||19|
|Pages indexed with Google||192|
Finally, a vegan food blog with a low domain rating that still does well on Google. Do note, though, that the founder (Mandy) also owns a second, larger food blog, and therefore already has experience in this niche.
She is a master at keyword research and has found her “cracks” in this crowded niche. Moreover, Google knowing her (the author, not the domain) as a food authority may have helped her articles to rank.
Cook Veggielicious monetizes with ads (Mediavine).
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||49|
|Pages indexed with Google||1,630|
Ethical Elephant is a cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle blog. The owner, Vicky, helps readers to find vegan products such as vegan personal care products, beauty products, or fashion items.
Vicky monetizes with affiliate links and Google ads.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||6|
|Pages indexed with Google||412|
VegByte is a website for vegan beginners. They publish food guides, recipe round-ups, and product reviews in the areas of personal care, beauty, and kitchenware.
This website is very well done and demonstrates how you can rank despite having relatively few backlinks. Vegbyte focuses on many of the strategies I recommend in this article and my Ultimate Food Niche Guide:
On the food side, instead of trying to rank their own recipes on Google, they publish food-related how-to guides and publish recipe round-ups (for example, in the form of meal plans), where they only link to recipes created by others. They also focus on kitchenware, which is easier to rank for and to monetize.
Moreover, they go into vegan personal care and beauty, which, as pointed out at the beginning of this article, is not as crowded as the vegan food niche.
As a result, they manage to already rank for a lot of keywords despite their low domain rating.
At the moment, VegByte monetizes only with affiliate links, but they are already collecting email addresses for a membership that they plan to set up.
These guys have clearly done a lot of market analysis and are approaching this exceptionally professionally. If you plan to go into the vegan blog niche, I highly recommend taking a close look at their site. There is probably a lot you can learn from them.
Vegan Blog Content Strategy
Here’s a list of topic ideas for your vegan blog:
- Vegan / cruelty-free personal hygiene product reviews (which can either be reviews of one product or round-ups like “The 5 Best Vegan Deodorants“)
- Vegan / cruelty-free beauty product reviews (such as “The 5 Best Vegan Eyeliners“)
- Vegan / cruelty-free fashion
- Lists of vegan / cruelty-free brands for various product categories
- Vegan recipes
- Vegan meal plans (You can link out to recipes from other blogs if you don’t want to create your own recipes).
- Product reviews or product round-ups for kitchen gear that is helpful for creating vegan food or drinks (for example, blenders)
- General vegan food guides. Such as this guide to building a healthy vegan grocery list, this guide on how to stop food cravings on a plant-based diet, or explanations of typical vegan ingredient replacements (like this guide to non-dairy vegan milk alternatives)
- Vegan city guides: lists of vegan restaurants in different cities. Be careful, though, this kind of information constantly changes and requires frequent updating. I would only add restaurants that have a website so that you can check quickly if the information you provided (such as the restaurant’s address) is still up-to-date.
Vegan Blog Traffic Generation
According to my research, the vast majority of blog traffic in the food and beverage niche is coming from Google and Pinterest. Google is responsible for 48 percent of traffic generation on average. Pinterest ranks second, with 28 percent.
That means there is a strong case to focus your traffic generation strategy on those two channels if you plan to focus on vegan food.
I have not yet done a similar research for other niches relevant for vegan blogs, such as the personal care and beauty niche or the fashion niche. However, I would expect Google and Pinterest to be the main traffic drivers for this type of content as well.
Getting Vegan Blog Traffic From Google
To improve the chances for your blog posts to rank on Google, you need to perform keyword research before you write your blog posts.
To give you a head start, I’ve already done some initial vegan blog niche keyword research for you. Some basic observations:
Competition for Vegan Recipes Is Fierce
Most of the big food blogs publish vegan recipes as well, which means that you will be competing with the really big players, plus the search market for recipes, in general, is saturated.
Additionally, there are many big vegan recipe blogs, a selection of which I have introduced at the beginning of this article.
Finding cracks is possible, but very difficult. Honestly, I would not plan to generate Google traffic from vegan recipes unless:
- you are extremely good at keyword research and/or link building,
- you come up with something truly exceptional, or
- you already have an established vegan blog with a strong backlink profile.
Competition for Other Vegan Food-Related Information Is More Reasonable
In my Ultimate Food Niche Guide, I describe how Google competition gets lower once you move outside of recipes. I’ve even gone so far as dedicating an entire article to building a food blog without recipes.
These principles hold true for the vegan food niche as well.
You can even find commercial search phrases that have no on-point results at all. Obviously, you’ll have to niche down a lot for that, but at least once you drill down to something like “best electric spiralizer for sweet potatoes”, there are literally zero results that answer precisely this question.
If you are willing to accept some competition, you don’t even have to niche down that far.
Outside of keywords with buying-intent, you may not have to niche down as much. For example, at the time of writing this article, searches around “dairy cravings vegan“, “how to stop dairy cravings as a vegan“, or “how to stop milk cravings as a vegan” bring little to no on-point results on Google.
However, you do have to look around quite a bit to find underserved search phrases like this.
Competition in the Vegan Personal Care or Beauty Niches is Significantly Lower
Overall, competition for keywords around vegan personal care and beauty is significantly lower than for food-related terms.
You can find tons of low competition keywords, such as
- best vegan face wash
- cruelty-free men’s cologne
- cruelty-free deodorant without aluminum (There is not a single on-point search result for this search. It’s a great search phrase because the target group, vegans, typically pay attention to health and consequently, many of them don’t want to have aluminum in their deodorant.)
- vegan skincare routine for oily skin
Getting Vegan Blog Traffic From Pinterest
Pinterest is excellent if you can generate eye-catching visuals. Vegan recipes do particularly well on Pinterest if you manage to create high-quality photos to show them off. In the early stages of your blog, you will find it much easier to get Pinterest traffic to vegan recipes than Google traffic.
Beauty related vegan content can work very well on Pinterest, too.
Instagram as a Traffic Source for Vegan Bloggers
You would think that Instagram, as a visual social medium, is also suitable for driving traffic to vegan recipes or beauty related content. However, while gaining a large following on Instagram is quite achievable, Instagram makes it hard to lead your followers over to your blog.
That explains why my research shows that Instagram does not drive a significant amount of traffic to blogs in the food and beverage niche. While I have not done respective research for the beauty niche yet, I expect the results to be the same. Instagram trying to keep their users on Instagram is a general problem and not specific to the food niche.
However, Instagram can be helpful for networking with other vegan bloggers, influencers with large followings, or brands.
Many bloggers have large followings on Facebook. Alas, nowadays, most of your followers will never see your posts. Organic reach on Facebook is laughably low today, and the social network makes you pay good money if you want your own followers to actually read your content.
As a result, most bloggers do not focus much of their time trying to generate traffic from Facebook anymore.
How to Monetize a Vegan Blog
Let’s look at monetization options for vegan blogs:
Ads are an excellent way to make money in the food niche. Traffic is substantial, and particularly significant in the vegan food niche. Many vegan food blogs run ads with Adthrive or Mediavine, which can both bring a solid RPM*. According to my research on food blog income sources, the average RPM from ads in the food blog niche is about $19.
Affiliate Marketing will probably be your primary source of income if you decide to venture into the vegan personal care or beauty niche.
But you have options for making money with affiliate links in the vegan food niche as well, in particular with kitchen appliances.
Some examples of affiliate programs in the vegan niche:
- Brownble offers an online subscription/membership for vegan cooking and support videos, which costs $115 per year, and a roadmap online course for vegan beginners, for which they charge 97$ as a one-time payment. Their affiliate program offers a 50% recurring commission.
- Veecoco also offers a membership program for online vegan cooking classes. A 1-year membership costs $250. With their affiliate program, you can get a 30% commission.
- Nutriciously sells ebooks that help readers turn vegan or lose weight. They offer a 50%-60% affiliate commission.
- Ora sells vegan food supplements. Their affiliate program offers a 20% commission.
- Urthbox is a subscription box with a vegan option. Their affiliate program pays 17$ per sale.
- Vitacost is an online shop for food with a sizeable vegan section. Their affiliate program pays 4% to 6% per sale.
- Sunburst Superfoods is an online shop for superfoods. Their affiliate program pays a 10% commission on all orders.
- Zatik is an online shop for vegan personal care and beauty. With their affiliate program, they offer a 15% commission on all sales.
- Another online shop for vegan self-care, vegan beauty, and vegan cosmetics is 100% Pure. Their affiliate program offers an 8% commission.
- A convenient option for kitchen gear is the Amazon affiliate program. Amazon has recently slashed its affiliate rates but converts well and is a convenient choice. Amazon’s kitchen category currently pays a 4.5% commission rate.
Information products take a lot of work to create but can be extremely profitable. In the vegan niche, several kinds of info products appear to be popular:
- Vegan online cooking courses, such as this online class, which includes 55 hours of cooking instructions and costs $249.99 (currently advertised discounted price) to $349.99 (advertised normal price).
- Roadmaps or beginner guides for going vegan. These typically include a lot of recipes, but additionally cover other aspects such as motivation, vegan travel, coping with special needs on a vegan diet (for example, athletes), and common missteps when turning vegan. An example is this roadmap for going vegan, which sells for $97.
- (Online) vegan cooking courses for professional chefs. These tend to more expensive. An example would be this online certification course, which costs $1,299.99. Such courses can also be more niched down, like this vegan baking online course for €250, or this online course on the vegan Mediterranean cuisine for €50.
- Ebooks for vegans. For example, Nutriciously sells a vegan starter kit ebook bundle for $47.
Membership programs are actually a sub-category of information products. Essentially, they are information products where you keep adding new content. Memberships often include a managed community as well. Ideas for vegan memberships:
- You could create vegan cooking-class memberships, similar to the Veecoco membership program that I listed in the affiliate section.
- Another option is to go with a membership that aims specifically at vegan beginners and helps them to successfully make the switch, like the Brownble roadmap I introduced above.
Physical Vegan Products
You could also purchase white-label physical products and sell them under your brand.
- Your own branded vegan cosmetics line
- Branded vegan food supplements
- Branded vegan superfoods
Recommended Tools For Vegan Blogs
I recommend Bluehost if you want a cheap option and WPX if you want a premium option. If you would like to read more details about why I recommend these two and what the differences are, check out my article on hosting recommendations.
The Right Platform for Vegan Blogs
You should use WordPress as a platform for your vegan blog. Do not use Wix. Do not use Joomla. Do not use Drupal. Do not use static HTML pages. If you have doubts about this, please read my article on why you should use WordPress for your website.
Recommended WordPress Themes for Vegan Blogs
I recommend the Genesis theme by Studiopress. Genesis is a hugely popular theme framework with all the benefits which come with that (security, support, choice of designs, updates), but in contrast to other popular solutions (such as Divi) is doesn’t lock you into a propriety system that you can’t get out of. Genesis is also what this website uses.
You can read more about why I recommend Genesis in this article.
Genesis employs a child-theme system. That means Genesis as a theme framework provides the functionality, and you can then choose a Genesis child-theme which determines the look of your website.
In my opinion, the following Genesis child-themes would fit a vegan blog especially well:
For vegan food blogs:
For general vegan blogs or vegan self-care and beauty blogs:
Niche Pro (but I would increase the font-size)
Refined Pro (here as well, I would increase the font-size)
Recommended WordPress Plugins for Vegan Blogs
If you plan to include vegan recipes in your blog, you should get a recipe plugin. I go into greater detail about why you need a recipe plugin and what these plugins do in my free Ultimate Food Niche Guide.
Two very popular and frequently praised recipe plugins are:
WP Recipe Maker
WP Recipe Maker helps you to create fantastic-looking, well-structured recipe posts that include recipe schema. The basic version is free but lacks certain features of the premium versions, such as nutrition labels. You can get WP Recipe Maker here.
WP Tasty is another recipe plugin that does not have as many features as the paid versions of WP Recipe Maker but is easier to use. There is no free version of WP Tasty, but it is significantly cheaper than the elite version of WP Recipe Maker. WP Tasty has been produced by the team behind the legendary food blog Pinch of Yum, so they know the user’s perspective well. You can get WP Tasty here.
Further Learning Resources for Vegan Bloggers
If you’re going to invest a lot of your time into growing a website in the vegan niche, do not employ the trial-and-error technique. You will waste so much time.
Instead, go deep and learn everything you can about growing blogs and websites in the vegan niche. That way, your time on building your site will be spent much more effectively.
Excellent learning resources for vegan blogs:
Nagi grew her food blog RecipeTin Eats from zero to 1 million monthly views in 8 months. On Food Bloggers Central, she shares her tips. Her content is not specific to vegan food blogs, but most of the general food blog tips apply to vegan food blogs as well.
A membership site for food bloggers by the founder of Pinch of Yum. You get more than 350 videos that teach you food blogging and a food blogging community to ask any question you have along the way.
Again, since the vegan food niche is essentially a subniche of the overall food niche, learning about the food niche in general makes a lot of sense if you plan to blog about vegan food.
If you’re either new to the (vegan) food niche or have been active for a while but haven’t quite figured out how to go full time yet, then I recommend you try Food Blogger Pro. They have a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. You can sign up for Food Blogger Pro here.
Due to the central role that photos play in the food niche Pinterest is an excellent way for food bloggers to drive traffic – if done right. Melyssa Griffin is the authority on traffic generation with Pinterest, and her course Pinfinite Growth teaches you how to master Pinterest to drive traffic to your food website. You can join Pinfinite Growth here.